Tips for enjoying the rest of summer

Designating themes to each day of the week - swim day Wednesday, for example - can help make the summer days more organized and fun. Photo by Brandie Clark.



July 4 marks the peak of summer.

From there, it’s just a hot, slow descent to the first day of school.

I can’t let the summer slip away without offering some tips to make it a little more relaxing, organized, fun and appetizing.

CAMPING ON THE GO-GO

I just spent a hot, windy weekend at Yuba Lake in central Utah. If it wasn’t the 40-mph winds (I’m not exaggerating) keeping me awake, it was the constant hum of the generator for the mansion on wheels parked at the neighboring campsite.

I told the owners, “I would have brought my mansion too, but I was told we were supposed to be camping.”

Anyhow, I came away from our weekend with an excellent tip from some seasoned campers.

Store and transport everything you need for camping in big plastic bins: the tent, sleeping bags, flashlights, cookware, et cetera, all in one box. Just toss the containers in the back of your vehicle, fill your coolers full of ice and food and go.

When you return, the bins go back into storage until the next trip. No unpacking required.

ROOTIE-TOOTIE MAKE FROZEN FRUITIES

It seems like the Payne kitchen is open 24/7 during the summer months. My kids would rather graze all day than sit down and eat three square meals.

Cut down on low nutritional value snacks by having frozen fruit on hand. Pineapple and cherries are a favorite around here. Frozen fruit is refreshing and takes longer to eat.

For Independence Day, take frozen blueberries, raspberries and some vanilla flavored yogurt and make red, white and blue Popsicles. Layer the berries and yogurt in Popsicle molds and freeze for a stripe-color effect.

This frozen fruit dessert is easy to make, nutritious and delicious.

THEMES MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER

Summer allows some flexibility in a family schedule, but the predictability of a routine keeps the family from getting too loosey goosey.

Giving each day a theme infuses fun into the long, hot days of summer.

For instance, make Monday family game night.

Lately, the Paynes have been enjoying a couple of “old school” board games: Mastermind and Racko.

Perhaps your kids and grandkids would enjoy some of the board games you used to play. A quick search on the Internet would easily turn them up.

Tuesday could be library day. Check your library’s schedule for special events or community book clubs.

Wednesday is swim day. We take advantage of Wednesday Dollar Day at the Palisade pool. I enjoy my lawn chair in the cool grass and the kids like the inexpensive snack bar.

Thursday is hike night. We are fortunate to live in an area where trails are abundant. I often refer to gjhikes.com. You can find pictures, directions, distances and tips for trails in and around our valley.

Friday is kid’s choice, which is self-explanatory, and Saturday is date night. Sorry, no kids allowed.

ANOTHER UNPAID PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT

Perpetual flip-flop wearing can lead to dry feet.

My sister-in-law swears by Gold Bond Extra Strength in the green bottle. Not only does it quickly and effectively heal and alleviate dry feet, she says it also works great to relieve the itch of mosquito bites.

I love it when one product can do double duty.

LEAVE IT AT THE OFFICE

We all have to multi-task in life. The trick is to not let life multi-task us.

When you are at home, be home. Avoid the urge to bring work home with you, check e-mails and make business-related calls.

If a week-long vacation is not a part of your summer plans, then make sure you have downtime in your day to rejuvenate and refresh. This will make you a better employee and make you easier to live with at home.

Enjoy the second half of your summer vacation and from my family to yours, Happy Independence Day.

For more on an unpredictable variety of other topics, visit Annie Payne’s “Anniethology” blog at Anniethology.blogspot.com.


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